Zodrow and Sommer are the new match play champions
23 Aug 2014 at 22:05 | Published by: Hans | Views: 9730 | News search
Bianca Zodrow after winning her second individual title in Neutraubling (Photo by DMV 2014)
As usual the final day of match play finals in an international championship includes lots of drama and equally many surprises. But since surprises are so many in this modus itís maybe not valid to even call them surprises anymore.
In the ladies category it was two nations which clearly had the best day. Austria managed to win with all four girls in the first round and then secured an all-Austrian semifinal. Lara Jehle, born 1995 and still junior this year had beaten two of the last decadeís biggest junior stars on her way to the semifinal (Anne Bollrich born of Germany and Jana Nakladalova of the Czech Republic). In the semifinal she had to meet another young player, her teams mate Jennifer Helm born in 1994. In the end it was Lara who won quite comfortably by 5-2 after acing 12 of the 16 lanes they had to play. So young Lara secured her first medal in the general class after two junior medals, gold in 2012 YWC and bronze in 2014 YWC.
On the other half it was to become a giant battle of the German stars Bianca Zodrow and Stefanie Blendermann. It is not the first time these two girls are fighting for the medals, in 2011 in Stockholm they had to play sudden death for the gold in stroke play, and yesterday Bianca won by one stroke in stroke play over Stefanie. This was to become the by far best game of the day. Both girls had an incredible 15 aces out of 18 played lanes, noteworthy is that the chosen lanes are the most fair and challenging by far, especially on eternit. The match itself didnít include that many points due to the fact that an incredible 14 lanes ended with double aces. And since Bianca took the early lead it was Stefanie who had the pressure of playing after Bianca for the last 16 lanes. She followed Biancaís ace with an ace of her own no less than 13 times. Stefanie only had the chance to win the lane three times in total. The first time she took the chance but after Bianca missed lane 2 and lane 15 she could not take the point and made herself a two as well. Anyway this tight match ended 1-1 after 18 played lanes and sudden death had to follow.
In the end Bianca won the game on the 8th sudden death lane in what might have been a classic game comparable to Filiph vs Walter from 2013, if it hadnít been a match between two Germans, making the sound level quite low and putting a wet blanket on the magic that can be when two rival nations with separate cheering audience are meeting. So Bianca against Lara in the ladies final.
In the final Lara showed a good game as long as the match was on the eternit and after ten lanes the score was 2-1 to Lara. But then Lara started to miss the aces on the beton and Bianca is not the girl you can give these chances to in a final. In four lanes she turned over the match in her favor and was two lanes up with four to go. And finally she secured the gold with an ace on lane 17 to become the first lady ever to take both individual gold medals in a championship general class. Same achievement was done last year in the seniors class by Gaby Rahmlow with the extra twist that Gaby also won the team gold, Bianca had to settle for silver after the drama against Switzerland two days ago. Anyway itís fair to state that the queen of this championship is without doubt Bianca Zodrow, still keeping up strong against the younger generation.
Lara had to settle with silver this time and the bronze medal was won by bravely fighting Stefanie Blendermann, who you can argue didnít really have the margins on her side this year. But two silver and one bronze is not a bad result going home for Stefanie.
In the menís category it was as usual some favorites from the stroke play going out early. Patrik JŲnsson going into the cup with highest ranked lost directly in the first match against team mate Peter Eisenschmidt. Same brutal faith was experience by silver medalist from yesterday Oleg Klassen who lost against experienced cup expert Paolo Porta of Italy. Some other big names from the stroke play like Karel Molnar, Martin Jecny and Michel Rhyn, survived the first round only to lose in the second round.
Five out of six German was on the lower half and when Oleg Klassen who was the only German on the upper half lost directly it was opening up for other nations to go far on this side. So eventually in the semifinal on the upper half we found Peter Eisenschmidt of Sweden and Reto Sommer of Switzerland. Reto played an excellent game against Peter and won with clear margin of 6-2 to reach the final.
Reto Sommer, winner in the mens class.
» Match play results
The lower half was a German show off. The five Germans on this half won all matches they played, but inevitably some of them had to play each other and that was the only way to knock out a German player on this half. So in the semifinal Marco Templin was facing Alexander Geist. Marco who have shown before that he is an excellent cup player (gold in 2007 and bronze in 2008 and 2013) won a nerve-racking game against Achim Braungart Zink in the quarterfinal after a long sudden death. Alexander won a dramatic battle against his club fellow Harald Erlbruch (6-5) already in the second round and then won a strange game in the quarter final against Swedenís Eirik Seljelid, where as many as six lanes gave the result 2-2.
The semifinal between the two Germans was for long a given win for Marco, leading 2-0 already after 4 lanes and 4-0 after 13 lanes. But then Marco started to make mistakes and Alexander could win 3 lanes in a row, one of them using two strokes for lane win, making the match 4-3 with two lanes to go. And actually Alexander had a chance of equalizing after Marco made a two on lane 17 on beton. But when Alexander failed to ace Marco could in the end ace lane 18 to reach the final with a big sigh of relief.
The final between Reto Sommer and Marco Templin was a thriller. First Reto took an early 2-0 lead. But Marco fought back and was even 2-2 after the eternit part. Then Reto won lane 12 and Marco lane 13 to make the score 3-3 with five lanes to play. But once again Marcos beton-game failed him and just as in the semifinal he lost three lanes in a row in the final stage of the beton course. And when Marco failed to ace lane 17 on beton the gold was in Switzerland and in the hands of Reto Sommer.
Alexander won the bronze match against Peter Eisenschmidt after winning four of the five last lanes they played on the beton course.